Alien Breed 2: Assault

Believe it or not, Alien Breed 2: Assault is the sequel to Alien Breed Evolution: Episode 1 – as apparently Team 17 decided to drop the whole ‘episode idea’ and just label the sequels numerically. The confusing title aside, it’s more of the same greatness which was brought to us back in Episode 1. I mean Alien Breed 1: Evolution?

My personal favourite reason for Alien Breed’s existence is the fact that once-upon-a-long-time-ago I used to play the original back on my old DOS machine, and all of the things that I loved about the game back then are still what makes me love the game today in its revamped form. The atmosphere is tense, and I’m not talking ‘you just noticed a shadow but it turns out to be your cat’ tense, I’m talking ‘you just noticed a shadow, threw the controller at it, screamed and went for a knife before you realised it was only your cat’ calibre tense. Especially if you play it on the Elite difficulty (which I strongly recommend you do) where ammo and bravery is far more scarce than on the lower difficulties. It adds to the desperation when you’re praying for a save station to gain a checkpoint and gather some much needed health and ammo, and what Team 17 did so brilliantly was to not increase the enemy difficulty dramatically through difficulty settings, but rather simply reduce resources available to kill them.

The gameplay itself is very self-explanatory. It’s a top-down, twin-stick shooter with the obvious goal of surviving the alien menace as you attempt to fix the wrecked spaceship you are marooned on alone (or with a friend, if you’re able to snag yourself a co-op partner). Speaking of co-op partners, this was a fantastic element in the Alien Breed series. With two players hectically running through the levels and a very similar amount of ammo to the single campaign available, it adds to even more gripping stand-offs with the two players often tussling and trading places as one either searches for more ammo, or reloads their ten remaining bullets into their shotgun. I’m not saying that going solo isn’t a heart-pumping experience, but I can honestly say that for me the ultimate way to play Alien Breed is on co-op on the Elite difficulty. All the game’s strengths are put to the test, and it really pays off for the whole experience.

With 5 episodes to panic your way through, and weighing in at about an hour a piece, Alien Breed 2: Assault really has one pretty sweet value marker on it. For only 800 MSP, you will definitely get your money’s worth, and did I mention that co-op is even available in split-screen? So if you have a buddy who actually exists in the flesh then it works out at 400 MSP a pop to jump in and love this beautiful creation in all its glory. Alien Breed 2 (and 1, for that matter) are perfect examples of what a professional studio can do when presented with the task of remaking a franchise, and making it cheap, palatable, and thoroughly enjoyable. If you love shooters, love being on the edge of your seat, or just have a free Wednesday night in with a friend and are at a loss of what to do – get Alien Breed 2: Assault. Hell, get Alien Breed: Evolution – Episode 1 while you’re at it.







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